Ten Killed In Reality TV Show Helicopter Crash In Argentina

French Sports Personalities Among Victims


Investigations have been launched after a helicopter crash in the La Rioja province of Argentina led to the deaths of ten people, including three well-known French sports personalities.

Olympic swimmer Camille Muffat, boxer Alexis Vastine and renowned sailor Florence Arthaud were fatally injured in the incident near Villa Castelli in which two Eurocopter AS 350B3 Ecureil helicopters are believed to have collided.

The local government-operated aircraft were involved in the filming of the French TV survival show Dropped, with five of those killed being production crew from the programme. The Argentinian pilots of the helicopters were also killed.

Prosecutors in France have followed procedure in such circumstances and opened an inquiry into the deaths, with the country’s president Francois Hollande also issuing a statement outlining how the deaths were “cause of immense sadness”.

Expert Opinion
This is undoubtedly a terrible tragedy which has shocked both France and the world.

"It is early days but if the reports that the helicopters collided are correct, the investigation will need to uncover the full chain of events that lead to the collision. The issues that they will need to consider will include each pilot’s actions, their experience and training, the standard operating procedures, weather conditions and whether either of the helicopters encountered a problem or issue that affected flight control or distracted the pilot.

"Through our work in acting for the victims of helicopter accidents around the world and accidents involving mid-air collisions, we are acutely aware that if flying visually and in close proximity to other aircraft, each pilot’s lookout and situational awareness is crucial to ensure that minimum separation distances are maintained. If anything compromises a pilot’s awareness in these circumstances, the late realisation of an impending collision may give the pilot little or no time to avoid the other aircraft.

"It is to be hoped that there will be prompt publication of an accident report so that lessons can be learned to prevent similar, terrible incidents from occurring in the future."
Jim Morris, Partner